Setting daily intentions is something that is new to me and I’ve gotta say, I don’t know why it took me so long to start doing this! It’s really so simple and literally only takes a few minutes each morning to set my intentions for the day. In doing so, I am actually helping myself to get what I want out of each day.
Why wouldn’t everyone set daily intentions?
Maybe because like me, you might think intention setting is for other people. People who believe in signs from the universe, manifesting your desires, things that you might think of as “woo-woo” type stuff, and that’s just not you.
I’ll admit, up until recently, I was kind of fuzzy on exactly what intention setting was all about. I grouped it in with all the stuff I mentioned above, but after learning more about it, I see that there is really a lot of logic behind it.
Setting daily intentions is actually a pretty practical and simple idea you can use to control your focus and mindset in order to make the most of each day.
What Are Daily Intentions?
An intention can be whatever you want or need it to be! That is the beauty of it. There are no rigid guidelines. It’s basically just a guidepost for how you want to show up each day.
Although intentions start with your values, they are separate from your values. Values are the things most important to you and your core beliefs that guide your life in a broader sense. Your values inform your intentions.
Intentions are also separate from your goals because unlike goals, they are not something you can accomplish or measure and they are not tangible like goals. Rather, intentions are how you want to be.
Intentions, goals, and values are all connected to one another.
Let’s illustrate with an example:
Why Set Intentions for the Day?
The goal of intention setting is to slow down and decide what is important to you each day. It’s possible that this could change from day to day so that is why it’s key to set daily intentions.
When you decide from the get-go how you want to be and feel throughout your day, it has the effect of making you continuously draw your focus and mind back to what you set forth as your intention that day. Thus you are more likely to get what you want out of each day.
Intentions also help you work towards your goals. In order to meet the goals you set and become the person you want to be in the future, you must start acting like that person today and making the daily choices that will get you where you want to go.
This is where daily intentions come in.
Setting intentions for the day gives you focus and provides a daily roadmap. While looking ahead is important, you only get to the future you want by staying present in the moment and setting intentions for the day helps create that presence.
Most importantly, I believe they impact our happiness and overall sense of well-being because they tend to come from a place of self-reflection that helps to guide and ground us.
How to Set Daily Intentions
As I mentioned above, intentions can be whatever you want or need them to be and therefore there is not really a step-by-step method of coming up with your daily intentions.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind when setting your intentions for the day.
1.) Set your intention as early in the day as you can.
It’s important to choose a time to set your intention when you’re calm and can focus without distractions. Setting an intention as early in the day as possible is imperative so you can make the most out of implementing your intention that day. I incorporate setting daily intentions into my morning routine.
My journaling guide (get your copy below ) includes a journaling template for daily use that incorporates setting intentions for the day. This is the same template I use in my own daily journaling practice.
2.) Your intention should have a positive tone.
Similar to affirmations, your intention should have a positive tone and should be something that motivates and uplifts you.
Simply take a few minutes to ask yourself the following questions:
- How do I want to feel today?
- How do I want to affect others?
- What core value do I want to honor?
- What goal do I want to focus on today?
Write down your intention using a few words or a phrase that you connect with.
3.) Revisit your intention throughout the day.
As you go through your day, consider how your choices align with your intention. Try to consistently bring your mind back to the intention that you have set as you make decisions throughout the day.
Having your intention at the top of your mind so you can go back to it when you’re feeling busy, stressed, frustrated, or emotional is the key to staying focused on how you want to show up that day.
I like to write my daily intention in my journal because the act of physically writing something down actually helps your brain to remember it better. Also, having a record of my daily intention written down in my journal gives me the opportunity to refer back to it at the end of the day and think about how (or if) I lived my daily intention and how it affected my day.
4.) Make sure your intention has room to evolve.
If you stick with the same intention week after week, your mind gets bored and stops responding to it. Therefore, you might set the same intention for a few days and then alter it slightly.
The previous intention of “I intend to prioritize quality time with my family” could evolve into “I intend to enjoy the quality time I spend with my family”.
Examples of intentions:
Many of these examples of intentions are ones I often use in setting my own intentions for the day.
Today, I intend to:
- Stay focused on my to-do list
- Be present with my family
- Listen to my intuition and let it guide me
- Be purposeful and organized in my work
- Be open to new possibilities without judgment
- Lead with love
- Prioritize what matters most to me
- Show myself kindness and acceptance
- Be compassionate and empathetic towards others
- Invite joy into my day
- Embrace flexibility and not be rigid in sticking to my schedule
- Maintain a sense of peace and calm as I go through my day.
- Nourish my body with healthy food choices
- Keep my “why” front and center when taking actions
- Notice the goodness in and around me
What daily intentions will you set today?
I hope after reading this post, you are inspired to try setting daily intentions of your own. This choice will help you live your life in a way that is more connected to your authentic self and will bring you closer to your goals and creating the life you want.
Carly is a wife, mom, and former fashion industry executive turned blogger, who is on a journey to live life as the best version of herself. Through her website, littlevoicebigmatter.com, she shares practical advice and heartfelt insights to inspire and support women in motherhood, relationships, wellness, and life.